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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Crawford, May 11, 2013.
My Saturday viewings with my thoughts here.
February 15th, 2020 Saturday
Around The World In 80 Days (1956)
From the Jack Ryan Collection
Weekend viewing is Billions Season 4.
This morning's viewings on German Blu-rays. My thoughts on both movies can be found here.
Easy Living (Kino BD) 1937. Revisiting this charming comedy last seen sometime in the '70s at MoMA. Sturges witty script, Leisen's direction and Jean Arthur's effortless comic timing make for a delightful time spent at the movies. Great transfer.
Joan the Maid (Part One: The Battles) (Cohen BD) 1994. Rivette's retelling of Joan of Arc's story with all the pomp and pageantry, religiosity, visions, crowd scenes, huge battles, etc. removed. Simple, plain setups, dialogue and testimonials taken mostly from primary sources. Sandrine Bonnaire plays Joan (a little mature for a teenager) with sincerity and plainness, with no hint of fanaticism or assumed greatness.
The Lion of the Moguls (agnes b. DVD ALL) 1924. Directed by Jean Epstein and starring the great Russian actor, Ivan Mosjoukine, and a troupe of Russian emigres living in Paris. Lavish in scope and leaping from a never land of fantasy to a troupe of Parisian film makers (a film within a film), proceeding to manic film techniques that are quite intoxicating (literally) and pre-Sternberg.
over the past week
will finish up the series, sometime this week
One of the things I watched this afternoon was Marriage Story from Netflix. Like its unintended sibling Kramer Vs. Kramer, this story of a painful divorce with a child caught in the middle is rather traumatic to watch, but it's impossible to look away once one gets invested in the characters.
All of the performances are first-rate, and I kept being surprised every time some great actor I didn't know was connected to the movie (like Alan Alda) appeared in a supporting role. I thought Adam Driver's performance was especially riveting and praiseworthy.
Unbelievable (2019) NetFlix: Nothing ever created in fiction can quite match the horror of reality. This was a fascinating watch. The best I can tell, it took very few liberties with the facts. There's no telling how many people have been seriously harmed by the very ones who are supposed to protect them. You don't always know what others have been through, what scars it has created, and how much it has damaged their view of the world and their ability to function in it. There were some serious reaction moments during this.
last night the wife and i enjoyed
From the Jack Ryan collection The Sum of All Fears
I watched Year Of The Dragon yesterday, a poor film with a stale and unimaginative screenplay full of ideas we've seen several times before.
I might watch Dirty Harry today.
The World of Henry Orient (1964) - I'd been eyeing this Twilight Time blu-ray for awhile before I finally bought it one of their recent sales. Peter Sellers can be great but he was in some duds, so I went into with a bit of apprehension. And I was very pleasantly surprised. It's a charming film and Sellers is overshadowed by the two girls (Merrie Spaeth and Tippy Walker) who follow him around Manhattan.
I could just go on and on about all the things I loved in this movie from the arc of the story to terrific performances by Angela Lansbury, Tom Bosley, and Paula Prentiss to little details like the relationship between Gil's mother and her friend contrasted with the relationship between Val's parents. With some key moments coming during the holiday season, I can justify adding this to the list of movies we often rewatch during December.
The commentary track with Nick Redman, Julie Kirgo, and Jeff Bond was also excellent. It was hanging out with a bunch of friends rehashing the movie you just watched. While all three clearly like the film to varying degrees (with Kirgo being the biggest fan), they weren't afraid to point out problems as well. My wife kept nodding in agreement as Kirgo talked about being a young teen girl and spinning these fantasies about what life might bring.
I'm so glad I picked this one up.
Last couple of nights:
Resolution (Arrow Zone B BD) 2012. Freshman effort from directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, who went on to direct The Endless, this film is quite compelling as it builds tension, offering mysterious clues about the current action and possible outcomes of the story. In its way, it is a horror story with sci-fi leanings. One can see how it paved the way to their sophomore effort.
Wild Strawberries (Criterion BD) 1957. One of my favorite Bergman movies. It's practically perfect. There's pain and sorrow in the past and the present; there's also joy and a better future. The ending has to be one of the most moving in all of Bergman's oeuvre. A masterpiece.
First Love (WellGo BD) 2019. Miike's ultra violent, funny, one-nighter, everything that can go wrong does and it just flies and ends nicely with a great many corpses.
Bergman Island (Criterion BD) 2004. A feature-length documentary on Ingmar Bergman detailing his life on his beloved island. He also recalls his past life and his career.
For such a poorly done movie, It's kind of oddly compelling. Plus, it has Mahler in the soundtrack, which isn't exactly a common choice.
EDIT: I actually think it's better than it gets credit for. I think a big part of the hatred is just that general attitude toward Cimino.
That final shot is just a grand cinematic "ahhhh".
I agree that it's "oddly compelling" in that I wasn't bored even though increasingly irritated. As for Cimino, I think the screenplay confirms what Heaven's Gate indicated: that Michael Cimino did not understand the fundamentals of narrative and had little grasp of human nature.
However, Oliver Stone wrote the screenplay for Year of the Dragon (with Cimino, so who knows).
Yes, Stone and Cimino wrote the screenplay. By the way, I like "Year of the Dragon" and thought so when I saw it for the first time during its theatrical run.
Ya know Robert, I might be letting the mob mentality get to me over the years. I thought it was odd, possibly poorly written, but I also liked it, despite some failings in the execution. The fact is, I haven't seen it in years. I need to give it a shot and find out what I think today, for myself.